Final nominations for the PFA Player of the Year have been announced, with the smart money on a Manchester United player taking home the trophy. The Premier League leaders provide five of the six nominees, with Ryan Giggs, Edwin van der Sar, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Cristiano Ronaldo all featuring on the shortlist. Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard is the lone candidate plying his trade away from Old Trafford. Voting took place before Manchester United’s recent dip in form, but all five of United’s nominees have enjoyed excellent seasons.
Van der Sar kept a record 14 consecutive clean sheets, while Vidic is currently the bookies’ favourite having been consistently solid at the centre of defence alongside Rio Ferdinand.
While Ronaldo, seeking to become the first player to win the award three times – and in as many years – is joint-top scorer in the Premier League in 2008/09. However, it is veteran Ryan Giggs being tipped by many to lift the trophy.
The 35-year-old is highly respected by his fellow peers, who vote for the award’s winner, and netted United's only goal at West Ham in February to ensure he has scored in all 17 Premier League seasons since its inception in 1992. The English, European and World champions are also well represented in the Young Player of the Year category, with Jonny Evans and Rafael heading the nominations.
However, Aston Villa starlet Ashley Young is the hot favourite, with his team-mate Gabriel Agbonlahor, Manchester City midfielder Stephen Ireland and Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon also on the shortlist. The winners will be announced on April 26.
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